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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2012)

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Mr. Romney 21, Us 12, Iraq 9, Afghanistan 8, Ohio 6, Nra 6, California 5, Mitt Romney 4, Pentagon 4, Virginia 3, Husted 3, Obama 3, John Mccain 3, Massachusetts 3, Colorado 2, Barack Obama 2, America 2, Jon Husted 2, Dennis Lieberman 2, Florida 2,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2012)  

    October 9, 2012
    4:00 - 5:00am EDT  

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exactly what the republicans are doing, it's reminding african-americans how far we have come. we need people of courage to stand up. this is not about black and white. this is about having the opportunity to vote and to live in a state where you have elections officials and republicans trying to stop african-americans or any other group. this is linked to class too. it is a shame. it's immoral. it's unethical. we will not be moved. >> nina turner, thanks for coming in. that's "the ed show." "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. i'll be reporting from miami tomorrow night on some of the things going on down there in southern florida with the latino vote and african-american vote. i'll see you there tomorrow night. >> you can tell we're getting closer and closer to the election. we feel compelled to get out into the country and report from other places. thanks a lot. i appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel.
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>> thank you to you at home for joining us. we are broadcasting not from new york, but from california. i did a book event in santa barbara yesterday for my book "drift." i spoke to a room of about 2,000 people, which is unnerving if. you're not used to doing that sort of thing. and i talked about my book. i got asked a question at this event about the political impact of the first presidential debate. and the way it went seems to be important in understanding the temperature of the country on the presidential race right now. most everybody agrees that the first debate was won quite handedly by the republican challenger mitt romney and lost very much by president obama. but yesterday in santa barbara, i told this giant room full of people in this theater when asked about this subject that as clearly and as cleanly as mr. romney won the the debate, it still seems politically important that mr. romney did not win the debate in a way that produced a single sound byte. i mean, yeah, 60 million people watched romney win the debate
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overall, but for the 240 or so million american who is did not watch the debate who might have been curious about how it went, there was no single sound byte to take away from the debate to remember and repeat as the reason that mr. romney won. and so i sat at this event that even though romney won that night, won on debate night, there wasn't any day two story that could explain to people why it was that he won. i said, really, thinking about it, the only line, the single line that survived the debate, the only line that i think anybody can remember from the debate, i said this to a room of 2,000 people. there's one line that everybody can remember from that debate and that was -- and everybody in that theater simultaneously said back to me "big bird." 2,000 people all at once "big bird." the morning after the debate, "the new york times" reports that the romney campaign
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surprised democrats with the decision not to hold a big post debate rally for mr. romney. they did not try to capitalize on the triumph in the debate by doing a big event the next morning. the next day news coverage of the results of that it late night debate. the first presidential debate did not include follow up, post debate footage of mr. romney but did include footage of president obama on the stump looking comparatively strong and reflecting on his sorry performance with a bit of a grin and hitting mr. romney on the one line that everybody remembers from the debate which is big bird. obama campaign dispatched a new, tall, yellow-feathered surrogate to follow the campaign around and remind them of the line from the debate. mitt romney saying he would fire big bird. and ever since, president obama has been out there enjoying the campaign's big bird moment. >> when he was asked what he
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would do to cut spending, he said he would go after public television. for all you moms and kids out there, don't worry, somebody is finally cracking down on big bird. elmo has made a run for the the border. he's bringing the hammer down on sesame street. >> although mitt romney clearly won the debate, the obama campaign right away on thursday managed to crystallized the public's funny bone. a cross between a funny bone and a hot nerve reaction to defend big bird and company. that was thursday. then on friday, the obama campaign got that huge jobs report with unemployment falling below 8% for the first time in the obama presidency. unemployment above 8% has been a favorite talking point for mitt romney and that talking point on friday went kaput. and the country has now had the best election year improvement in the unemployment numbers
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since ronald reagan ran for reelection in 1984. remember the morning in america thing, that's what it was about. so mitt romney may have won the debate, but president obama won the post debate. at least it seemed that way for these last few days. then today back down to earth for democrats. we started getting in the first solid round of polling that reflected the results of the debate. and however, well the obama campaign did in managing the post debate spin and the post debate campaigning, the poll numbers clearly have now shifted in mitt romney's favor. in the new national poll out from the pew research center, governor romney is now tied with the president. romney trailed in this survey by 9 points before the debate. so that's a big shift toward mitt romney and away from barack obama in that poll. like wise in the new gallup poll, mr. romney polled even with the president after the debate erasing a 5-point advantage for the president. we have new polls from the swing
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states and near swing states. polls that include reaction to the first debate. in wisconsin today the president leads by just two points. that's according to a relatively left-leaning poll. that particular poll previously showed the president having a 7-point lead before the debate. in colorado, in one right-leaning poll romney is now up by 3 points. the same showed him losing by 5 before the debate. now he's up by 3. in virginia, the president is ahead by 3 in virginia. that same poll had the president's lead at 5 points before the debate. that shows the president's lead shrinking. in michigan, it's now barack obama by just 3 points. the president had led by 10 last month. now it's down to 3. in ohio today, a poll on the right gives the president an edge of 2 points. that poll in iowa shows a gain for mr. obama, a 5-point gain. in florida, the same poll shows
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a 4-point swing for romney. he's up by 2 points. so the major fall or minor lift, however, you rattle the number lose, as the overall national polling shifts and the swing state races shift with them, the state where the romney campaign is hoping for the biggest shift of all is in ohio. in modern political history, ohio has been the path to the presidency for republican candidates. if republican candidates win ohio, they win the white house. if mitt romney doesn't win ohio, he honestly has to put together a hard combination of colorado and virginia and florida and, and, and. but if he wins ohio he has a clearer shot of winning the white house. the dead line to register to vote is tomorrow in ohio. they started voting in ohio last week with democrats camping out.
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and yet in ohio, the overall rules for voting right now are still kind of a mess. they are already voting, but we still don't know what the rules are for voting in ohio. the rules are not set. look at the headline today. quote, as november 6th nears, ohio rules still not set. this is remarkable, right? ohio's republican secretary of state says voting procedures should be locked down months before election day. especially if the fuel rules or the laws have changed since the last election. quoting secretary husted, we're just trying to run an election here. he says, the later you make a decision, the more likely it is to cause a problem. consistency matters in how you run an election. consistency and clarity. time is of the essence and confusion is dangerous. that's what ohio's republican
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secretary of state says when he's talking about voting rights and elections and democracy in his state. we're just trying to run an election he says. he says it's already late in the game. 's on thrd saying those thing its when he's trying to pressure the courts into ruling his way on matters of dispute in ohio voting. when it comes to the issue of early voting, when it comes to the evident desire of ohio voters, particularly ohio democratic voters to head for the polls and bank their vote before election day comes, when it comes to this question about early voting, secretary husted decided he's going to kick this down the road. on friday a federal court ruled that ohio voters could vote early right up until election day. the court ruled ohio voters could cast ballots on the the final saturday and sunday before election day when 100,000 ohio voters last time around.
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ohio voters are waiting to see whether the top elections official is going to appeal that decision for a second time. he's apparently in no rush on this. he released a statement on friday saying he would do nothing that day and nothing over the weekend. today, monday, he appears not to be doing anything either. jon husted decided to kick it down the road. we'll let it ride. if he decides to appeal, that will push the ultimate resolution of when you get to vote in ohio. it will push the resolution even closer to election day. we're already inside a month. he could just establish early voting hours, but why the rush? the election is still almost a month away. i have my hair to wash and stuff. by his own admission issue the later you change the rules before an election, the more pressure that puts on local elections officials to
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accommodate those rules. they have to publicize the hours, have the machines ready, the voters have to know when to vote. that's it the job of the elections board. ohio has had early voting for everyone since 2005. the secretary of state was already trying to get them to change from something they had been doing. now he's making it so they won't know what they will be able to do and whether they will go back to the way it used to work since 2005 or whether they will have shorter hours. he's making it so the local elections boards will not know any of those things until as late as possible. putting it on county officials less than a month before the election. this is nuts. this has not been a normal year for ohio elections boards. ohio republicans first tried to cut early voting in half. when they failed at half, the same three days when african-american churches like to car pool down to the polling place.
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the sunday before the election. nearly 100,000 people voted in those days. a new study just published today shows that african-americans in the cleveland area were 26 times more likely to cast an early in person ballot than white voters. that's not a typo. 26 times more likely. it was with that very recent history in mind that two elections officials voted to open the polls on the weekend right through the election day. on the weekend before. at the time the state had approved expanded weekend voting in republican counties, but not in the counties that lean democratic. but these two officials decided that weekend voting would be good for their county, for their democratic-leaning county too. for that ohio's republican secretary of state fired them effective immediately. he kicked them off the county board of elections. as of last week, he had kicked the question he said he desires to to settle, he kicked it down the road again. why rush? why try to avoid confusion?
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you know what confusion looks like on election day, don't you? long, long lines. joining us now are dennis lieberman, former members because they were fired by secretary of state jon husted for wanting to do in their county what counties must be allowed to do. mr. lieberman and mr. luch chi, thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> mr. lieberman, let me put it to you, chime in if i have missed anything. in my description, you guys follow it closer than we do. did i get anything wrong there or confuse any details there? >> no, i think you got most of it pretty much correct. we are still fighting these fights. we have some victories, some important victories from the united states district court and then most recently from the
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sixth circuit court of appeals. we're just waiting to set the hours on the weekend before election day so that we can get everybody down there and get everybody to vote. >> go ahead. i didn't mean to interrupt you, sir. >> i agreed with dennis. i think it's critical for us to get folks to the poll and do it as soon as we can. and try to forego any of the delays planned by people. >> with this delay in responding to the federal ruling here, we have the federal ruling on friday. we immediately got a response from the secretary of state saying he wasn't going to respond that day. he wasn't going to respond over the weekend. and he didn't respond today either. so he's pushing the decision of whether or not this will be a settled matter or not. closer and closer toward election day.
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am i right to suppose that a lack of clarity over when people are going to be allowed to vote is the sort of thing that can create both confusion at the county level and potentially something that can translate into longer lines and chaos at the polling place? is it right to connect those two things? >> i thi you're absolutely right to connect those two. >> what we have seen is that when there's a lot of confusion relating to voting hours or when people can vote, they just stay at home because they don't know what to do. and i really think that this is by design, frankly. i mean, after all, it didn't take mr. husted a weekend to decide to fire us when we voted for early voting. within two hours, we were suspended. so i know he's capable of making some quick decisions. >> based on this court ruling on
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friday, one of the things that i have been trying to figure out, if it's a possible outcome of this, is something that secretary husted tried to figure out before. more night hours, more weekend hours in republican-leaning counties than in democratic-leaning counties. do either of you look at this ruling from this judge, look at the lack of response from the secretary of state in ohio and think it's possible one outcome is that different counties will have different provisions in terms of when people can vote and how many early voting days there are? >> yeah. i mean, i think that that is a possible outcome, but there's a real easy way for mr. husted to deal with this. and that is to instead of breaking those ties in the major urban areas, which is what he
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was doing in favor of no early voting or in favor of limited hours, instead of doing that, break the ties the other way. make it so everybody has open hours, everybody has early voting on the weekends, and make it so that people can come and have access to voting. that's all he has to do. if he wants to make it uniform, great. make it uniform so that everybody has that chance to vote. don't make it it uniform so that you limit people. >> dennis lieberman and thomas richy, gentlemen, thank you for your time tonight. i have a feeling we'll be talking to you again as these fuzzy rules continue to unfold in ohio closer and closer to election night. thank you it, gentlemen. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. lots still to come tonight including a big deal get for us for the interview, which i'm excited about. plus the best worst story about gasoline you have heard
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since the last time you heard something truly amazing about gasoline. we have a lot to go through on tonight's show. stay with us. a speed bump! [ wife ] a beached whale! lawn clippings! a mattress. a sausage link. mermaid. honey!? driftwood. come on, you gotta help us out here a little. [ male announcer ] febreze eliminates odors and leaves carpets fresh. ♪ [ male announcer ] febreze. eliminates odors and leaves carpets fresh. ♪
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john mccain campaign produced a big package of opposition research on mitt romney. john mccain won the republican nomination fight against mr. romney. thereby winning the right to lose in the general election to barack obama. but earlier this year when mitt
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romney was running for the republican nomination for the second time, so he could earn the right to run against barack obama, earlier this year the mccain campaign opposition research against mitt romney from the last election found its way on to the interview. andrew kosinski found the research that the mccain put together and published it from beginning to end. it was essentially a how-to guide for running against mitt romney. all of his observed weaknesses, inconsistencies, political statements on the record. for people interested in politics and the political prospects of mitt romney. there were huge sections on mitt romney at bain capital buying up companies and then gutting them for their own personal profit. ten pages documenting his many stances on abortion rights. and there was this bit. gun control. gun control in the top hits section.
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remember this is relativity straight forward opposition research from one of mitt romney's fellow republicans. this is research that the john mccain campaign put together to use against mitt romney in the republican primary. in 1994 when mitt romney first ran for senate, he backed the brady bill and the assault weapons ban. as governor of massachusetts, mitt romney upped the cost of gun licenses four fold and promised on the campaign trail to not chip away at gun laws. >> we do have tough gun laws in massachusetts. i support them. i won't chip away at them. >> he did not. in 2004 governor romney signed the permanent assault weapons ban in massachusetts. then mitt romney decided to run for president. he started prepping himself for the republican presidential primary and then, of course, things got hilarious on the subject of guns. mr. romney said in a debate with "the boston globe," quote, i have a gun of my own. i go hunting myself. to which someone in the room
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replied, and i quote, excuse me, but isn't that your son josh's gun? yes, yes, it was. on the campaign trail, mr. romney touted it by saying he was a lifetime member of the nra. he would brag about that. that was sort of true. he joined the nra as a lifetime member in august 2006, just before announcing his presidential run. lifetime isn't the same thing as lifelong when it comes to membership in the nra. you too could become a member of the nra simply by giving them $1,000. when asked about his recent membership, mr. romney explained, quote, i'm after the nra's endorsement, in other words, i'm running for office. mitt romney wasn't just after their endorsement in the 2008 republican presidential primary. he was also after the nra's endorsement retroactively for a previous political campaign. watch.
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>> i also was pleased to have the support of the nra when i ran for governor. i sought it. i seek it now. i would love to have their support. >> mr. romney's campaign spokesman had to clarify, the nra did not endorse him in the 2002 campaign. so in the 2008 republican primary, he owned a gun, only he didn't. it was his son. he said he was once endorsed for governor by the nra, only he wasn't. then there was an issue about whether or not he was a hunter and if so, what kind. >> i'm not a big game hunter. i've always been, if you will a rodent and rabbit hunter. small varmints if you will. i began when i was 15 or so. have hunted those kinds of varmints. i also hunted quail in georgia.
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it's not really big game hunting or deer and large animals, but i have hunted a number of times. >> let me save you the trouble of looking up. the last time somebody used the word varmint on the screen is the last time you watched "caddyshack" and yet the nra which is supposed to be principled on gun rights, to the exclusion of all other political considerations, the nra last week endorsed mitt romney for president. why did they wait so long? i don't know. but they did despite his a record on guns. and his previous statements on gun policy. they are still delighted to endorse him. and more importantly, to run this it new ad in four swing states criticizing president obama for being just terrible on gun rights.
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what has president obama done that's so terrible? what anti-gun laws has president obama passed? precisely none, zero. president obama's actual record on guns as president is that you can now carry guns on amtrak trains and national parks. and that's the guy who did not get the endorsement of the nra. this guy did. >> i don't line up 100% with the nra. >> the nra is not looking to honestly compare the two candidate's records on their one and only issue of gun rights. the nra just wants the republican. that's what they want. that's why they exist. they are a republican-interest group and describe them any other way is to play into their spin. the idea of how to sans their own interests is to get a republican elected to office. whatever you think about them in terms of its effectiveness, frankly, that stinks for people who really do care about gun policy because they have the worst supposed advocates ever.
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the interview tonight responding to mitt romney's foreign policy speech, the interview is the highest ranking woman in the history of the pentagon. very excited for this interview. that's straight ahead. stay with us.
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[ heart beating, monitor beeping ] woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water.
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what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year. for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen. okay. chart imitates life. this is what we have been spending on our military over time. this is the base budget for the pentagon. the website posted this today. the first spike, that's military spending going up, going way up for the korean war and then you see it comes back down again. the second spike, that's military spending going way up for the vietnam war and then it comes back down again. the third spike, that's the cold war, giant arm's race buildup and the soviet union starts to collapse into 1991 and our post-cold war spending comes back down. then the terrorist attack in september 2001 and the spending
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goes back up. the reason this does not show it going through the roof is because for the whole bush administration they did not count the spending on the wars in iraq and afghanistan as if it were defense spending. they did it as an emergency so this is just the base defense budget. this just shows how the base defense budget went up after 9/11, not including that emergency spending on iraq and afghanistan. now here's the amazing thing. watch this. so this is where our spending is now. that's what the blue line means. if we were to let our spending drop like we did after the end of the cold war, our spending would look like this. now you know the sequester that you've been hearing about with the draconian defense cuts, this is what our spending on the military would be like with the sequester. that's the purple line there. president obama's plan, what the pentagon and president obama have agreed should happen and
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what their plan is if president obama gets a second term is this line. military spending to have go like that. the third one there in the stack. essentially setting the spending levels we have got now as a new normal, even though he keeps spending going slightly up. people say there's no difference between the candidates. there's no real difference, but maybe the republicans would be better for the deficit. maybe the republicans would spend less. check this out. this is what mitt romney is proposing for spending on the military. ta da! people say there's no real difference between the candidates? holy mackerel. when you're talking about the biggest pile of money in the whole world, the largest amount of discretionary money spent on anything by our government, boy howdy is there a difference here. but for a guy who wants to be thought of as cheap, as thrifty, for his campaign to be thought of as tough on spending, to be
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proposing that radical a spike in a pile of money that's already unimaginably enormous, to get us back to korean war levels of spending and then some, he must really have some big idea he's really committed to to justify that. to justify such a radical change in expense. he must, right? this must be something he he knows a lot about and cares a lot about. right? >> about our commitment to our military effort in terms of building a military that's prepared for the eventualities of a future that's hard to predict. back in 2008 during the presidential debates, there was no discussion of terrorism. >> no. >> and yet a year later, the world was changed. so it's very difficult to predict precisely what will develop in the the world. >> hold on. that was mitt romney today speaking to a roundtable of retired generals after his big foreign policy speech today.
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mr. romney is telling the retired generals in the 2008 presidential debates, i'm quoting him directly, back in 2008 during the debates, there was no discussion of terrorism. what is he talking about? >> the war on terrorism started in afghanistan and it needs to end there had. >> my friend, some of this $700 billion ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations. >> the central front -- >> a signal from a terrorist -- >> the possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. >> preventing the spread of terrorism? >> the drug trafficking funding terrorism -- >> a sponsor of terror -- >> mitt romney today after his foreign policy speech told a room full of retired admirals and generals that never happened. there was no discussion of terrorism in the 2008 presidential debates and that makes no sense at all. mitt romney today in his big foreign policy speech said that president obama has not signed any free trade agreements in the past four years.
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>> the president has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years. >> with respect to romney, that also makes no sense unless mr. romney is contending that when we all thought president obama was, in fact, signing free trade agreements with south korea and panama, maybe he's contending that the president secretly wasn't doing that at all and was duping us all? mr. romney also in his speech today criticized president obama for only having hope that things will get better in the middle east. for only having hope, but not having a strategy to make that so. >> i know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous middle east aligned with us. i share this hope. but hope is not a strategy. >> hope is not a strategy. remember what mitt romney told his donors was going to be his strategy in the middle east? >> you hope for some degree of
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stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. we kick it down the field and hope that something will happen and resolve it. >> today he gives a speech on how hope cannot be the strategy in the middle east. hope explicitly is his strategy in the middle east unless kick the ball down the field is something way more specific than i think it is. at least when he's speaking behind closed doors, he admits the only thing he has to offer in the middle east is hope and can kicking. mr. romney has never really had a firm grasp on basic foreign policy stuff. the last time he ran for president, he said it was the right decision to go into iraq. i supported it at the time. i support it now. then this past december, he said we should not have gone into iraq knowing what we know now. today he said we shouldn't have left iraq. it was too abrupt. eight years into that war, he thought it the two and a half yearlong process of ending that war was too abrupt.
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he's had a tough time deciding whether he's for or against the timeline for withdrawing troops. today he waited until the 37th paragraph of his 46-paragraph speech to even mention the war in afghanistan. in his statement on the war, he came out both for and against a timeline for leaving. saying he would get u.s. troops out of afghanistan by the end of 2014, but that president obama's plan to do exactly the same thing, that's what he called a politically timed retreat. a politically-timed retreat that he's also going to follow. this is not this man's forte. nor is it what anyone thinks he does well. but what he's saying he will do on the subject of the military is mathematically startling in its enormity. look what he's proposing to do. particularly for a candidate who
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seems to have the loosest grasp on the basis of this subject. year 12 of the war in afghanistan starts this week. it's the worst birthday present ever, right? but what's even harder to grasp is that the presidency of a country that's been waging a war that's been going on that long, that presidency is being contested with one side not even coming up with a strategy for that war. they are not even sure mr. romney reads the policy papers that his own foreign policy advisers prepare for him. he just doesn't seem that interested on the subject of foreign policy at all. they said he has no enthusiasm for the subject and even they, mr. romney's own top foreign policy advisers, have no idea what he would do about foreign policy if he were elected president. has there ever been a campaign where one side just forfeited on
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this subject? year 12 of the longest war in american history is starting this week. the president's afghanistan war plans are hard to explain, let alone to square with public opinion. this ought to be a foreign policy election. but on what is supposed to be mitt romney's big foreign policy day today, it has never been more clear that it really truly is not.
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drones and modern instruments of war are important tools in our fight, but they are it no substitute for a national security strategy for the middle east. i'll restore the permanent presence of task forces in both the eastern mediterranean and the gulf. i'll restore our navy to the size needed by building 15 ships per year. the route to war and to potential attacks here at home is a politically-timed retreat that boons the afghan people to the same extremists who ravaged their country. i'll evaluate conditions on the ground and weigh the best advice of our military commanders and affirm that my duty is not to protect my political prospects but to protect the security of the nation. >> former governor mitt romney
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today giving what his campaign described as a major foreign policy address. those remarks were some of the specifics in that speech, or at least a close approximation of the specifics. joining me is the undersecretary of defense for policy. she's now co-chair of the committee. thank you for jury time. i've been looking forward to talking toou about this. >> happy to be here. >> mr. romney's foreign policy address was titled "the mantle of leadership." he tried to cast president obama as weak, saying in the middle east, the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office. what's your assessment of that claim? >> i think the president's record speaks for itself. this is a president who has been very -- very good at doing what he actually says. he said he would refocus the fight on al qaeda, he's done
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that. he said he would chart a transition course in afghanistan to bring our troops home in 2014, and he's done that. so i think when you think about what this speech needed to do for mitt romney, it needed to do two things. one is to be clear that he articulates some kind of vision, indicate he has some kind of come pass on these issues. and secondly, to clarify if he has differences with the president, exactly what would he do differently as commander in chief. and i don't think he passed the test on either count. >> specifically, you mention the issue of iraq. one of the things that i wonder a lot about and one of reasons that i hope for a revival of the republican party's confidence on the issue of foreign policy is because i'm not sure what the lessons learned are for us as a country of the war in iraq. mr. romney was for the war in iraq, although he said later he
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would have been against it. he famously said he thought it was possible that saddam hussein had hidden his weapons of mass destruction in syria. he's had some difficulty with the basic facts of that. mr. romney said we shouldn't have left iraq. that we would be better if american troops were still there. i wonder if you feel like there is any sort of foreign policy or military foreign consensus about what we should have learned from iraq, about what we won't do as a country because of what we learned from the iraq war. >> i think there should be a consensus because i think a lot of the lessons are very clear. i think the first bush administration rushed into war based on intelligence that turned out to be wrong, to go after weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist and to end up occupying a country without having thought through a strategy, without
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having a plan, and finding -- got ourselves deeper into the middle of an insurgency campaign that cost us thousands of lives and put america's blood and treasure on the line for a cause that was really in the end questionable. i think when president obama came in, he was very clear that he wanted to responsibly end that war. and he did that. the discussion here, the question of whether we should have left troops, my question to romney would have been why, and under what conditions? the president in our negotiations with the iraqis, the iraqis made clear they were not willing to provide legal protections for our troops to stay even as trainers on a long-term basis. so that's not -- those are not conditions under which you could
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actually leave troops, leave them unprotected, if you will. so i think it's a great rhetoric, but you wonder what is really his substantive position at the end of the day on these issues. >> i highlighted just a moment ago that the proposal that mr. romney is making for military spending, he's proposing a dramatic increase. and the president frequently charges that that is additional spending that the pentagon does not want. >> that's right. >> what does that mean and why wouldn't any part of government, even the pentagon, want additional money that a politician wanted to dump on them? >> i think the point is first, there's no strategy behind the romney plan. he's arbitrarily picked a percentage of gdp, 4%. and he said that's what our military spending should be. but there's no strategy driving that number, there's no stated military requirements driving
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that number, there's no threat assessment driving that number. it is simply throw a mark on the wall because it sounds good and it sounds strong. but the second question is, you know, how would you pay for that? especially if you're not putting revenues on the table. if you're part of the republican consensus that says no new taxes even for the wealthiest americans, how in the world do you pay for that, and what does that 4% of gdp towards defense that we don't need, what does that do to our deficit? after all the foundation of our national security is our economic security and we have to remember that. >> thanks for your time tonight, michele. i'd like to have you back another night. >> thanks. i would be happy to do that. >> we'll be right back.
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in election season, pundits follow the campaigns, but political scientists don't necessarily follow the campaigns. some of them instead follow this. one of the lousier determinist theories holds it doesn't matter how much the candidates are, it's really the price of gas that determines who wins the election. this theory has basically been debunked, but it is still repeated a lot any way. in the great state of california right now, gas is the most expensive it has ever been. ever. the average price of a gallon of gas in california is $4.67. you could pay as much as $6.65 per gallon. it happened all of a sudden. it does not seem to have happened in a normal course of events. there have been row finery troubles in the west, including this fire back in august and then a different refinery in
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torrance california. california's governor announced measures to boost supply. but today senator diane feinstein called for an investigation. she says that publicly available data appears to confirm that market fundamentals are not to blame for rising gas prices in california. she's asking the federal trade commission to start monitoring the gas market for fraud or illegal manipulation of the whole market. like, i don't know maybe speaking hypothetically here, main some random broker accidentally buying -- buying, most of the global market in oil futures and causing a spike in
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oil prices because he was super drunk? look, broken broker. on june 30, 2009. a very drunk young man in england who also happened to be a commodities broker gradually bought 69% of the global market of oil futures. on the morning of the 30th an administrative clerk called him to ask why he had bought 7 million barrels of crude during the night. he had no recollection and it turned out he had made the trades during a drunken blackout. at 6:30 a.m., presumably sobering up, he sent a message to his boss claiming an unwell relative meant he would not be able to work it into work that day. the drunken broker said he was sorry, he got find, got his license revoked for five years. when the british authorities revoked his license, they said the broker quote poses an extreme threat to the market when drunk.